• Alternate Reality – The City

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    Alternate Reality – The City

    Submitted by: rickHH

    The City is a very hard game. You should back up your
    character disk as described in the manuals and cluebooks
    very often, (in the beginning, backing up after each succesfull
    combat is a very good and safe thing to do), so you don’t loose
    your character. Let’s start from the very beginning:

    When you are at the portal with the spinning stats, there are
    some things you should know in order to figure out what stats
    you want to keep an eye on. Naturally, Hit Points should
    always be a priority, even though these increases alot with
    levels, since you tend to take alot of damage on early levels too.
    Anything (and this goes for all stats) under 10 is not very good.
    Strength increases with combat, and you will do alot of that,
    so if you want, you can chance skipping a few points there.
    If you want to buy a dagger or something, you should try to
    keep you money above about 150 coppers too.

    After you have passed through the portal, a number of hidden
    stats will also be set. The physical speed can immideately be
    found out by visiting The Blue Wizards guild at 18E, 47N
    (they will raise your Speed by 1 and also tell you how much you’ve
    got). Noticeability can also be figured out by the number of
    monster encounters you receive. If these are painfully high,
    you probably have a high noticeability too. There is also a
    stealth stat which determines wether you can suprise a monster
    or not. This will have to be estimated in the same way as the
    noticeability (and though it can be increased at Assassins
    Guild at 55E, 2N, they don’t tell you how much it is).

    There are also two hidden stats that start with set numbers.
    The Alignment stat, which starts at 128 (0 being evil, and 255
    being good) and the Treasure Finding stat which starts at 0.
    You can, however, find treasure anyway, so don’t worry. Also,
    according to the cluebooks, the treasure stat can only be
    raised by potions, after wich it decreases as normal when
    you have found treasure. I don’t know how gaining levels affect
    this stat (alignment does not go up with levels).

    So, now you are in The City of Xebec’s demise. Anything can
    happen now. If you want buy that dagger, find your way to
    Occum’s Weaponsmiths at 19E, 32N, as your chance to find one
    at an affordable price is highest there (haggle if you want to,
    but he will throw you out if you make an outrageous offer).

    Have in mind wether you want to play evil or good; there is
    NO way in The City to increase you alignment once you’ve
    commited an evil act. Killing Commoners is evil, but they are
    easy prey in the beginning and have more money than some other
    monsters (see the Cluebook for a list of evil monsters, and
    note the music for unlisted ones). Muggers are easy prey for
    good characters in the beginning, having around 13 Hit Points
    and giving about 75 Experience. Also, if you dare to venture
    out at night, Gremlins are just as easy (if not easier) and
    almost always carry treasure. Beware for Thieves or Cutthroats
    though, and Warriors or Knights who will kill you at an instant
    (and rob you and then kill you if you try to run away).

    As you will notice, money is vital. The cheapest place to sleep
    is Sleeping Dragon Inn at 60E, 6N where the common floor costs 5
    coppers. And at The Tavern (20E, 62N accesible through the far
    northwest city wall) you can even get free water, which actually
    costs a couple of coppers in other taverns. Food packets and
    Water flasks are sold randomly at the taverns across town, and are
    consumed automatically in The City.

    The Cluebooks also warns you about entering Banks after year one.
    This is a known bug. The code lacks a line which stops the banks
    from counting months after the year ends, so what happens is
    that the game calculates interest (and failures) for months 12-255
    until it reaches month 0 again (which is quite alot of
    calculations for an Atari computer). So either, if you’re
    extremely lucky, you will have received 243 months of rent, or
    morelikely, your accounts have failed and you’ve lost all your
    money (ie. it’s best to withdraw all your money in the month of

    A final note: As stated in the cluebook, if you disengage from
    a monster, it may steal from you. However, what it doesn’t say
    is that EVERYONE will steal from you. No matter what monster
    it is, there is a very good chance that it will take you money!
    (Trust me, I’ve seen Commoners, Ghosts and even Knights steal,
    and the first thing they nag is all your gems and jewelry.)
    Food packets and water flasks can also be stolen, in addition
    to valuables.

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